Were Can Asbestos Be found?
A popular building material since the 1950s, asbestos was widely used in homes and commercial buildings until 1999, when it was finally banned. So if you’re working somewhere built or refurbished before 2000, then the chances are it could contain asbestos.
Here are the most common types and uses found in the home:
- Ceiling tiles
- Pipe insulation
- Sprayed and textured coatings
- Asbestos cement sheeting
- Board around windows, radiators and fireplaces
- Soffit boards
- Fire doors
- Gaskets and sealants on pipes
- Electrical boxes
Other products likely to contain asbestos include:
- Wall cladding
- Cement flues
- Textiles, such as old fire blankets and heat resistant gloves
- Asbestos paper was also used for lining under tiles and inside metal cladding
- Loose fill asbestos
Loose fill asbestos was used to insulate industrial and domestic premises so can be found between cavity walls, under floorboards and in loft spaces. This is a loose, fluffy insulation material (similar to candyfloss), which may be blue-grey or whitish in colour.
This is probably the most dangerous asbestos-containing material. Loose fill is made up of pure asbestos and if disturbed can release large amounts of fibres in to the air, where they can be breathed in. DO NOT attempt to work on this material under any circumstances unless you are an HSE-licensed contractor.
If you think you’ve found asbestos, before you start work make sure you know what to do to carry out the job safely. Taking just five minutes to assess the risks could save your life and protect your family and friends.